A Welsh children’s hospice has admitted that its future is uncertain as it looks set to lose out on £2m worth of income due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. 

Tŷ Hafan, which is one of the UK’s leading paediatric palliative care charities, provides support for life-limited children and their families across Wales.

The charity has seen a huge drop in income and says it needs “urgent support” to see it through the most challenging time in its 21-year history.

With only 6% of its annual funding coming from the government, Tŷ Hafan relies on the generosity of the public to carry out its service, at a cost of around £4.5m each year.

This year, however, a number of fundraising events that were planned for the weeks and months ahead have had to be cancelled due to the restrictions put in place since the coronavirus outbreak began to affect the UK.

Ty Hafan hospice, in Sully, south Wales

Some of the events organised by staff that have had to be shelved include the Welsh3peaks Challenge, the 10nTaff Challenge and an overseas trek to Cambodia - the latter of which alone was set to raise more than £70,000. Furthermore, all of the Tŷ Hafan shops are now closed due to the current restrictions set out by the government.

On top of this, the charity is undergoing a £1.5m refurbishment project, funded entirely by donations, and admits that it faces a challenge to complete the necessary work and to keep all of its services fully funded.

The charity says it has forecasted an income loss of £2m "at the very least" for this financial year - something that could have a "devastating impact".

A number of fundraising events scheduled for 2020 have had to be cancelled

“Times are tough for everyone right now, but this emergency does represent something of a perfect storm for us here at Tŷ Hafan,” explained the charity’s fundraising and retail director, Julian Hall.

“We are in the middle of a refurbishment, care is more difficult to provide under new rules, and much of our fundraising is at a halt.

“Lots of our avid supporters who had fundraising events and challenges planned over the next few months have had to cancel or postpone their activity, meaning that our income has stalled. We’ve also had to close our 25 shops across Wales and can no longer receive any donated goods.

“It’s going to be a testing year for us, but we’re already encouraged by the support that we’ve received.

“We’re lucky enough to have so many loyal supporters who are going above and beyond for us by coming up with creative fundraising activities that they can do from their homes.

“We are hoping to get lots of people signed up to our Virtual Marathon in May, a challenge that can be completed at home, and I’m sure there will be other ideas in the pipeline.”

Welsh actress Ruth Jones talks about the "amazing work" carried out at Tŷ Hafan

Staff remain at the hospice, in Sully in the Vale of Glamorgan, and continue to provide end-of life-care for patients.

They have, however, had to adapt to a new way of working, including providing ‘virtual care’ for families who are self-isolating.

The hospice’s director of care, Deborah Ho, is urging people to donate to Tŷ Hafan in any way they can in order to help them get through this “incredibly challenging time”.

10-year-old Hari from Swansea, who receives community outreach support from Ty Hafan, holds up a message to the people of Wales

“Throughout this pandemic, we are doing all we can to keep our services running,” she said.

“Instead of stopping, we are changing the way we work. Our community and family support teams are still caring for families who need help and we have started delivering a ‘virtual care’ programme that incorporates play, music and massage therapy demonstrations for families to do together at home.

“The children we care for really are some of the most at risk in the country, despite rarely being acknowledged in the ‘at risk’ category across the media. They know that their children may be at greater risk which is an additional worry on top of the unthinkable challenges they face every day.

"Our services are a vital lifeline to them at this moment in time."

Director of care Mrs Ho added: "The government restrictions put Tŷ Hafan families in an even more isolated position, so it’s more important than ever that we ensure that they feel supported and not alone.

“Regular donors are potentially our only reliable source of income at the moment, but we can’t rely on our loyal supporters alone to help us raise the £4.5m that Tŷ Hafan requires annually.

"We’re urging people, if they even have just £5 to spare, to think about donating it to Tŷ Hafan to help support our services.”

You can make a donation to Tŷ Hafan here.